A mammoth amount of currency notes weighing 604 tonnes in total were transported by the Indian Air Force after the demonetisation of higher denomination currency notes last year November 8. In what could be termed as a war-footing-like bandobast, the IAF fleet made 33 sorties across the country.
Minister of State for Defence Subhash Bhamre, gave these details in Rajya Sabha on Tuesday.
Apprising the upper house, he said that the government had tasked IAF to transport the currency notes and accordingly it carried out the exercise.
He said no IAF aircraft flew abroad for the purpose and charges for transporting the currency notes to various parts of the country are assessed and realised from agencies concerned.
The move was announced by Prime Minister Narendra Modi on the evening of November 8, 2016.
Following the move, the ATMs and Banks saw massive rush to exchange/deposit the old currency notes of Rs 500 and Rs 1000, which were roughly 85% of the total liquidity in the market.
The move was also strongly criticised by the Opposition alleging the government of causing major inconvenience to the people and even terming the decision which will have a negative impact on the economy. Owing to the Opposition protest, the Winter session of the Parliament last year December was a near washout.
On its part, the government defended the move calling it a decisive and strong action to curb the menace of black money, counterfeit currency and the terror.
Demonetisation was also among the issues raised by the both the sides in the recently held assembly elections in five states, including Uttar Pradesh, where the ruling BJP performed exceedingly well.
While it won UP and Uttarakhand hands down, scoring nearly 80% seats, it formed governments in two other states – Goa and Manipur.